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Thread: Bench Racing & The Morning Reads

  1. #91
    Still Wondering mika's Avatar
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    Friday, January 15

    WSBK et al.

    crash.net: Aprilia surprised by Camier pace

    motorsport.com: Canadian SBK series news and notes

    MotoGP

    visordown.com: Rossi rushed to the hospital over appendix scare

    bbc.co.uk: Ducati reveals 2010 bike
    Specs


    AMA Pro Racing

    roadracerx.com: John Hopkins to return to AMA competition???

    motomatters.com: John Hopkins to return to AMA for 2010

    Formula 1 and 

    Michael Schumacher has been in Spain testing using a GP2 car. Rain has hampered his runs most of the week but Thursday weather and skill came together for decent results.

    As soon as I post this things will change, but here are the F1 drivers as I know
    Formula One 2010 confirmed drivers

    The 2010 Formula One grid is still taking shape, with some teams already confirming at least one, if not two of their drivers.

    Here is a list of the drivers that have been confirmed so far (listed in alphabetical order team by team):

    AT&T Williams
    Rubens Barrichello
    Nico Hulkenberg

    Campos Meta Grand Prix
    Bruno Senna

    Force India Formula One Team
    Adrian Sutil
    Vitantonio Liuzzi

    Lotus Racing GP
    Jarno Trulli
    Heikki Kovalainen

    Mercedes GP
    Michael Schumacher
    Nico Rosberg

    Red Bull Racing
    Sebastian Vettel
    Mark Webber

    Renault F1
    Robert Kubica

    Sauber
    Kamui Kobayashi

    Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro
    Fernando Alonso
    Felipe Massa

    Scuderia Toro Rosso
    Sebastien Buemi

    USF1
    None confirmed

    Virgin Racing F1
    Timo Glock
    Lucas Di Grassi

    Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
    Jenson Button
    Lewis Hamilton

    Announced 2010 Car Launch Dates | Note some teams are opting for a ÔÇÿpit laneÔÇÖ launch during testing.
    28 January - Ferrari
    29 January ÔÇô McLaren
    31 January ÔÇô Renault ÔÇô Track debut
    31 January ÔÇô Sauber ÔÇô Track debut
    1 February ÔÇô Toro Rosso ÔÇô Track debut
    12 February ÔÇô Lotus

    Others have been reported but not confirmed by the team web sites. Things continue to come together for US F1.

    espnf1.com: Ecclestone repeats his warning that two teams will not make the first 2010 grid.

    Nelson Piquet[/url] may be coming to a track near you. He had been rumored in association with a couple of the new teams but has turned his back on F1 is heading to NASCAR.


    On the Street

    Cycle World take the new GS for a ride

    jsonline.com: They shake and rattle but antique bikes are getting more expensive

    Press Release Issued By Husqvarna Motorcycles (January 13, 2010)

    January 13, 2010 - Woodcliff Lake, NJ - While the U.S. motorcycle market endured some tough times as a whole in 2009, Husqvarna had a winning year on the track and in the sales department. "Retail sales were up 9% compared to 2008," says Husqvarna Motorcycles North America President Mark Brady. "This was a phenomenal result considering that 2009 was our first full year of operation in the USA."

    According to the just-released industry sales figures U.S. motorcycle sales declined 41% in the past year, yet Husqvarna is happy to have bucked this negative trend. "Our sales accelerated through the end of the year, increasing 98% for the last two months of the year!" This late sales spike pushed Husqvarna up to 9% in y-t-d sales overall. "This is a true testament to both our dedicated dealers and great new products, such as the 250cc model range," explains Brady.

    Race results also helped keep Husqvarna sales on the gas. Great performances by Glenn Kearney in the GNCC series (not to mention winning the overall at The Little Brown Jug Enduro), combined with Canadian import Cory Graffunder's EnduroCross podiums, Zip-Ty Racing taking Top 2-Stroke honors at the infamous Glen Helen 24 Hours and Adrien Chareyre capturing an X Games SupermotoX medal were all proud moments. However, the 2009 Husqvarna highlight had to be Desert Master Nick Burson winning the AMA D-37 Desert #1 plate and taking first overall honors at California's legendary Elsinore Grand Prix.

    "It is clear from the results that we put some early housekeeping in order, offered a top quality product and presented one of the best retail financing programs in the entire industry," says Brady. He is quick to add that Husqvarna will continue with 6.99% financing for 2010 and even better bikes! "We have some exciting new models joining the range, including the all-new TE630 and SM630. We have also updated the popular 250 model range and we will be announcing some serious 2010 race series sponsorships shortly."
    Marketing Manager & Racing Chief Scot Harden believes the best is yet to come, as Husqvarna will be reentering the AMA National Enduro Series in 2010 after a 20-year hiatus from woods competition. "We look forward to re-establishing Husqvarna as the leader in off-road racing, and as a logical extension of this success, continuing to win on the retail sales level as well," concludes Harden.

    motorsport.com: Husqvarna named Marque of the Year for 2010 AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days

    BMWGroup Mexico showed a 13% decrease in motorcycle sales for 2009.

    ÔÇ£Furthermore, BMW Motorrad placed 1,066 units, which corresponds to a decrease in the 13.3 % compared to the 2008 (previous year: 1,230). Similarly, the continuous brand with the deployment of full of emotion and dynamism with the new BMW K 1300 line and an agile handling, naked models precise, BMW F 800 R. And yet to be found in a very challenging year, BMW Motorrad increased their participation in the segment of motorcycles with engines larger than 500 cc.ÔÇØ

    From BMW PressClub Mexico, translation by Bing

    I donÔÇÖt cover gages much. For some perspective ACEA, the European manufacturerÔÇÖs association for car and motorcycle manufactures, is reporting passenger car sales rebounded in the second half of the year but still came in 1.6% down for the year.

    Royal Enfield is entering the liter bike segment with this shot
    thekneeslider.com Royal Enfield Musket

    thevintagent.blogspot.com: Thursday, January 14, 2010
    1896 HILDEBRAND & WOLFM?£LLER




    caradisiac.com: Riding in the Snow ÔÇô I have the solution.


    londonbikers.com: Triumph motorcycles makes record sales in 2009!
    The UK market saw sales drop 10% across the board. In that market Triumph showed a 26% increase in sales.

    ÔÇ£TriumphÔÇÖs success has been attributed to several factors, not least its wide range of critically acclaimed products, which has ensured a broad appeal to different types of riders. From high-powered sports bikes, to laid-back cruisers, Triumph has established leading models in every categoryÔÇØ

    The range of models combined with price point has done much for Triumph. Range of model problems is something that is lacking in forum discussions of BMW. BMW is addressing some of this. The G450 was a major shift. The S1000RR is another. But they still are heavily dependent on the mature touring models to generate sales. Husqvarna may help the BMW AG bottom line but how much it is acting as a feeder product line for the Roundel models is still very much in question.

    solomot30.com: YAMAHA put its prototype hybrid under the microscope, the HV-X

    xkcd.com

    motobastards.com


    Bike Cruller

    I have not been able to follow the 2010 Dakar as I had hoped and planned. However; I came across some great pictures at Boston Globe site boston.com

    Pass the mustard and UP THE REVOLUTION!

    St. Paul Pioneer Press , Minneapolis Star Tribune

  2. #92
    Bob
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    Piquet turn his back on F1? Say it ain't so!
    A guy who crashes on team orders would be a perfect fit for NASCAR.

  3. #93
    Still Wondering mika's Avatar
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    +1
    Pass the mustard and UP THE REVOLUTION!

    St. Paul Pioneer Press , Minneapolis Star Tribune

  4. #94
    Still Wondering mika's Avatar
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    Friday, January 22

    On the Street

    Disaster Recovery

    There is one story here in Fly-Over-Land; disaster recovery. We are dealing with the impact of an ice storm, after a series of snow storms, which has knocked out power for the last few days to many businesses and residences. In motorcycle news disaster recovery is in the fore front as Harley-Davidson released its very bloody fourth quarter 2009 earnings this morning.

    Here are a few of the statistics from the full press release that follows at the end.

    - Revenue was down 23.1% at $4.29 billion in 2009
    - Income was down 89.7% at 70.6 million
    - Shipments for the year were down 53.1% for the 4th quarter.
    - The company does not think it has hit bottom and is forecasting a continued reduction in 2010 sales.

    In October H-D revealed its third quarter earnings and future strategy. These included the closing of Buell and the announcement of the intention to sell recently acquired MV Agustsa. In addition plant closings and other actions were taken. In the short run some of these strategies are paying off.

    - Early retirements were offered as a means of fixing and cutting labor costs for the York plant. Employees took advantage of the offer in sufficient numbers to force H-D to recall some workers that had previously been laid off. H-D and outside annalists are pleased with this result.
    - Consolidation of production continues. H-D had entered the trike market using Lehman Trikes as their outsourcing production partner. H-D is continuing the product line but moving the production in house to the York plant.

    The company continues to lay its 2009 problems at the feet of three things; the economy, changes in Wisconsin taxes and restructuring costs. On paper this makes a certain sense but does not ring true all the way.

    Obviously the economy has critically wounded almost all motorcycle manufactures. This is without a doubt the worst world wide motorcycle market in my years of riding. I will give them this one.

    Early in the year the company went through a leadership change as the first numbers for the year started rolling out. Changes in Wisconsin taxes played big in the storyline during that time. Wisconsin residents and papers were pounding Madison, the state capital, for threatening to kill another Wisconsin manufacturer in the process. State government may deserve to be questioned, I am a former resident and will leave that to current residents, yet in the process H-D seems to have very poorly planed for this. The company had taken advantage of a variety of state aid over the years. In some cases old tax advantages were rolled into new programs over the years. H-D seemed to think this would be never ending. The failure to plan for the potential that this aid could end was not planned for and cost some people their jobs. The one year tax rate that seems amazingly high and a financial burden for 2009 is a result of this poor planning.

    Restructuring costs will continue to play in H-D financial planning and reports for 2010. Cost will continue to be incurred as a result of its restructuring plan. Assuming H-D is able to find a buyer in this market, selling MV Agusta is an example of just one item in the plans which impact the bottom line in a yet unknown way.

    2010
    I believe H-D is being optimistic in projecting further reduction in sales of 5-10%. Apparently H-D like many annalists sees the US motorcycle market finding bottom by the end of 2010 and stability coming in 2011. I donÔÇÖt share that belief placing bottom sometime in 2011 at best with a flat period to follow.

    JAMA, the Japanese counter part to the US MIC, will report December numbers in the next few days. This will give an idea of where the world motorcycle market is headed. When they are available I will post the numbers.


    Harley-Davidson Reports 2009 Results

    ÔÇó Full-Year Company Revenue, Profits Decrease from Continuing Operations

    ÔÇó Fourth Quarter Loss Reflects Previously Announced Reduction in Motorcycle Shipments and Restructuring Activities

    ÔÇó Company's Efforts in 2010 Remain Focused on Extending Harley-Davidson Brand, Continuous Improvement and Strengthening Core Business
    MILWAUKEE, January 22, 2010 -- Harley-Davidson, Inc. (NYSE:HOG) reported full-year 2009 revenue of $4.29 billion and income of $70.6 million, or $0.30 per share, from continuing operations. In the fourth quarter, the Company reported revenue of $764.5 million and a loss of $147.2 million, or $0.63 per share, from continuing operations. Affecting fourth-quarter results were a previously announced 53.1 percent reduction in Harley-Davidson?« motorcycle shipments from the year-ago period and $167.1 million in restructuring and Buell?« product line exit costs.

    Including MV Agusta discontinued operations, the Company reported a full-year net loss of $55.1 million, or $0.24 per share, and a fourth-quarter net loss of $218.7 million, or $0.94 per share.

    "Our full-year 2009 results were affected by the difficult economy, as well as the planned actions we took that resulted in restructuring charges of $224 million. We believe these actions are critical to restoring greater profitability and long-term growth to Harley-Davidson," said Keith Wandell, Harley-Davidson, Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer. "We are confident we have made the right decisions for our future, and we are executing our strategy with focused intensity."

    Full-Year and Fourth-Quarter Results

    For the full-year from continuing operations: revenue was $4.29 billion in 2009 compared to $5.58 billion in 2008, a 23.1 percent decrease; income was $70.6 million in 2009 compared to $684.2 million in 2008, a decrease of 89.7 percent; and earnings per share decreased 89.7 percent to $0.30 in 2009, compared to $2.92 in 2008. Full-year results from continuing operations primarily reflect the effects of lower motorcycle shipments, restructuring and Buell product line exit costs, and non-cash charges related to Harley-Davidson Financial Services.
    In the fourth-quarter of 2009, the Company reported revenue of $764.5 million compared to $1.28 billion in the year-ago quarter, a 40.2 percent decrease, and a loss of $147.2 million, or $0.63 per share, compared to income of $91.9 million, or $0.40 per share in 2008, from continuing operations.
    2010 Guidance

    For 2010, the Company expects to ship 201,000 to 212,000 Harley-Davidson motorcycles to dealers and distributors worldwide, a reduction of five to ten percent from 2009. "We believe 2010 will continue to be a challenging year," Wandell noted. In the first quarter of 2010, Harley-Davidson expects to ship 52,000 to 57,000 motorcycles. Gross margin is expected to be between 32.0 percent and 33.5 percent for the full year. The Company expects full-year capital expenditures of between $235 million and $255 million, including $95 million to $110 million to support restructuring activities.

    "Delivering Results Through Focus" Strategy

    During the fourth quarter, the Company moved forward with the execution of its business strategy, unveiled in October 2009, to deliver results by focusing on Harley-Davidson products and experiences, global expansion, demographic outreach and commitment to core customers. Additionally, the Company will continue to expand its initiative to enhance profitability through continuous improvement in manufacturing, product development and business operations.
    "Focusing our investment behind the uniquely strong Harley-Davidson brand provides the most attractive path to sustained, long-term growth," Wandell said. "We also expect to achieve substantial gains in the efficiency of our operations through continuous improvement."

    Motorcycles and Related Products Segment

    Fourth Quarter. Revenue from Harley-Davidson motorcycles during the fourth quarter of 2009 was $552.0 million, down 45.6 percent compared to the year-ago period. The Company shipped 35,938 Harley-Davidson motorcycles to dealers and distributors worldwide, down 53.1 percent from the fourth quarter of 2008 but in line with previous guidance of 35,000 to 40,000 units. Revenue from Parts and Accessories totaled $144.6 million during the quarter, down 4.9 percent, and revenue from General Merchandise, which includes MotorClothes?« apparel, was $66.8 million during the quarter, down 3.2 percent compared to the year-ago period.

    Gross margin percent was down during the quarter from the year-ago period, primarily as a result of fixed costs being spread over fewer units and the impact of exiting the Buell product line. Operating loss was $221.8 million compared to an operating income of $162.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2008. Operating margin was negatively affected by lower gross margin and restructuring charges incurred during the quarter.

    Full-Year. For the full year 2009, revenue from Harley-Davidson motorcycles was $3.17 billion compared to $4.24 billion in 2008 on shipments of 223,023 Harley-Davidson motorcycles, compared to 303,479 motorcycles in 2008. Revenue from Parts and Accessories totaled $767.3 million in 2009, down 10.7 percent, and revenue from General Merchandise was $282.2 million, down 10.1 percent compared to 2008.

    Full-year 2009 gross margin was 32.3 percent compared to 34.6 percent in 2008, and operating margin was 7.3 percent compared to 17.5 percent in 2008.

    Retail Motorcycle Sales. During the fourth quarter, retail sales of Harley-Davidson motorcycles decreased 21.4 percent worldwide, 27.9 percent in the U.S. and 10.3 percent in international markets, compared to the prior-year quarter. Industry-wide U.S. retail heavyweight (651cc+) motorcycle sales declined 20.9 percent during the quarter, compared to the year-ago period.

    For the full year 2009 compared to 2008, retail sales of Harley-Davidson motorcycles decreased 22.7 percent worldwide, 25.8 percent in the U.S. and 15.4 percent in international markets. Industry-wide U.S. retail heavyweight motorcycle sales declined 36.7 percent in 2009, compared to 2008.

    Financial Services Segment

    Harley-Davidson Financial Services (HDFS) recorded an operating loss of $7.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2009, compared to an operating loss of $24.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2008. Key drivers of reduced operating loss versus the year-ago quarter include a decrease in impairments on retained securitization interests and a decrease in fair value writedowns on held-for-sale receivables, partially offset by an increase in the provision for retail loan losses.

    For the full year 2009, HDFS reported an operating loss of $118.0 million, compared to operating income of $82.8 million in 2008.

    HDFS continued to access the capital markets during the quarter, raising $1.76 billion through the unsecured debt and term asset-backed securitization markets. Through its 2009 funding actions, HDFS expects to meet its 2010 anticipated funding requirements.

    Restructuring

    The Company now expects previously announced restructuring activities that began in 2009 to result in total one-time charges of $430 million to $460 million into 2012, including charges of $175 million to $195 million in 2010. The Company continues to anticipate annual ongoing total savings from restructuring of approximately $240 million to $260 million upon completion of all announced restructuring activities, including savings of approximately $135 million to $155 million anticipated in 2010.

    In December, Harley-Davidson announced that, as a result of the ratification of a new seven-year labor agreement at its York, Pa. motorcycle production operations, the Company is restructuring those facilities to focus on the core operations of motorcycle assembly, metal fabrication and paint. "When the restructuring is completed, we will have completely changed the face of how we build motorcycles in York and we expect significantly greater manufacturing flexibility and significant annual cost savings from a more efficient operation. It is a tribute to our employees at York that they understood we could not continue on the course we were on, and they worked with us to find a better way," said Wandell.

    During the fourth quarter, the Company made the decision to consolidate its vehicle test facilities from three locations, in Alabama, Arizona and Florida, into one location in Arizona.

    Income Tax Rate

    The Company's full-year effective tax rate from continuing operations was 60.5 percent compared to 35.8 percent from the prior year. The increase was due primarily to the previously reported one-time charge for the Wisconsin tax law change and the non-deductible goodwill write-off for Harley-Davidson Financial Services, as well as the impact of reduced earnings. In 2010, the Company expects its full-year effective tax rate to be approximately 36.5 percent from continuing operations.

    Cash Flow

    Cash and marketable securities totaled $1.67 billion as of Dec. 31, 2009, compared to $568.9 million at year end 2008. Cash provided by operating activities for continuing operations was $609.0 million and capital expenditures were $116.7 million in 2009. In the fourth quarter, Harley-Davidson Motor Company made a $215 million contribution to fund Company pension plans.

    Discontinued Operations

    The Company continues to move forward with the sale of MV Agusta and is in the process of identifying potential buyers, following Harley-Davidson's decision in the fourth quarter of 2009 to divest the subsidiary. MV Agusta is now presented as a discontinued operation for all periods. For the full year of 2009, Harley-Davidson, Inc. incurred a $125.8 million loss from discontinued operations, or a loss of $0.54 per share, comprised of operating losses as well as a fair value adjustment.

    Company Background

    Harley-Davidson, Inc. is the parent company for the group of companies doing business as Harley-Davidson Motor Company (HDMC), Harley-Davidson Financial Services (HDFS), Buell Motorcycle Company (Buell), and MV Agusta.

    Forward-Looking Statements ( Standard statements not included in this copy)

    url=http://www.xkcd.com/atom.xml]xkcd.com[/url]

    motobastards.com


    Bike Cruller

    Cabin Fever

    Pass the mustard and UP THE REVOLUTION!

    St. Paul Pioneer Press , Minneapolis Star Tribune

  5. #95
    Still Wondering mika's Avatar
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    Monday, 25 January

    WSBK et al.

    WSBK welcomes back Silverstone

    BMW has made progress in the off season but so have the other teams.

    Portimao Superbike Testing:

    Overall Friday/Saturday/Sunday Best Times

    1 65 Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 1'42.270
    2 91 Haslam L. (GBR) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1'42.557
    3 67 Byrne S. (GBR) Ducati 1098R 1'42.877
    4 35 Crutchlow C. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 1'42.960
    5 84 Fabrizio M. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1'43.137
    6 52 Toseland J. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 1'43.157
    7 3 Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 1000 F. 1'43.364
    8 41 Haga N. (JPN) Ducati 1098R 1'43.417
    9 76 Neukirchner M. (GER) Honda CBR1000RR 1'43.471
    10 50 Guintoli S. (FRA) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1'43.508
    11 7 Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1098R 1'43.629
    12 2 Camier L. (GBR) Aprilia RSV4 1000 F. 1'43.749
    13 11 Corser T. (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 1'43.931
    14 77 Vermeulen C. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1'44.108
    15 66 Sykes T. (GBR) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1'44.365
    16 111 Xaus R. (ESP) BMW S1000 RR 1'44.570
    17 23 Parkes B. (AUS) Honda CBR1000RR 1'44.751
    18 31 Iannuzzo V. (ITA) Honda CBR1000RR 1'45.348
    19 95 Hayden R. (USA) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1'46.990
    20 12 Fores J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1'47.293


    Brits head the field in day 1 of :Portimao Superbike testing

    Rea heads British supremacy

    Encouraging finish for Haga and Fabrizio

    Rea heads British supremacy

    Laverty makes the breakthrough

    Positive test run for Althea Ducati riders

    AMA Pro Racing

    roadracingworld.com: AMA President Rod Dingman interview Part 1: Answering the question, how much did the AMA get from DMG for AMA Pro Racing?

    Formula 1 and 

    formula1.com: Mercedes GP unveils livery

    suderiatororosso.com: Alguersuari confirmed as second driver for Toro Rosso in 2010.

    On the Street

    Bikes in the Fast Lane: Motorcycle air-conditioner to be released shortly

    xkcd.com

    motobastards.com


    Bike Cruller

    Pass the mustard and UP THE REVOLUTION!

    St. Paul Pioneer Press , Minneapolis Star Tribune

  6. #96
    Still Wondering mika's Avatar
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    White outs outside - I am bored

    WSBK et al.

    What did you do last weekend? Ruben Xaus tested the limits of the S1000RR and it bit back.



















    Xaus is a very capable bike. On the street the S1000RR has been a very capable performer. On the track riders and the S1000RR have troubles staying together.

    The truth is that both Ruben Xaus and Troy Corser, his teammate the BMW Motorrad, have not had a very successful weekend in early training of the pre-season WSBK testing. In order to be successful racers need to ride at the extreme edge of a bikes capability. Both are capable racers. BMW needs to find what is lacking to make its apparently competent street bike an excellent racer.

    BMW Motorrad Motorsport - Superbike World Championship - Test Portimao - Day 1
    • 25.01.2010
    • Informa?º?úo ?á Imprensa
    Weather conditions: Overcast, partly sunny.
    Temperature: Air: 17 – 21 ??C, Track: 15 – 23 ??C
    Number of riders participating: 20 from 11 teams
    Fastest lap overall: Leon Haslam (Team Suzuki Alstare) 1:42.778 min
    Circuit length: 4.658 km

    Programme:
    For the first test of the 2010 season, BMW Motorrad Motorsport brought along bikes with a new engine set-up and new swing arms. While Troy Corser (AUS) had already been able to ride the newly set-up BMW S 1000 RR during the final test of the 2009 season in Almeria, Ruben Xaus (ESP) rode the race bike for the first time today after his accident in the last race of that season. Ruben’s crew focussed on bike ergonomics and tested different handlebar and footrest positions in the morning. In the afternoon, Ruben’s crew worked on bike geometry and weight distribution. Troy’s crew worked on bike geometry and weight distribution in both sessions.

    Troy Corser:
    Bike: BMW S 1000 RR
    Test kilometres today: 293 (63 laps)
    Fastest lap free practice 1: 1:44.756 min / fastest lap free practice 2: 1:44.376 min
    “Today was not too bad, although we are not exactly where we wanted to be. We tried a lot of different things on the bike today. We compared two different swing arms, and I can feel the difference. However, it is too early to say whether it is a big improvement. I think we made a step forward with the engine. Now we have to get the combination right between engine and chassis.”

    Ruben Xaus:
    Bike: BMW S 1000 RR
    Test kilometres today: 260 (56 laps)
    Fastest lap free practice 1: 1:45.034 min / Fastest lap free practice 2: 1:44.570 min
    “I am pretty impressed with the progress we made over the winter. Most of the other riders tested a lot more than I did and have a lot more kilometres on the bikes. Taking that into account, I am quite satisfied. We tested a lot of different things today, and we were not totally off the pace. The bike is much more rideable with the new engine set-up. However, we still have to understand some issues. I experienced some wheelies at points round the track, which does not allow me to open the throttle fully. There we are losing time.”

    What comes next:
    This week’s testing in Portimao will continue until Sunday. On Saturday, both riders will test a new rear shock. On top of that Troy Corser will test a new front fork.

    BMW Motorrad Motorsport - Superbike World Championship - Test Portimao - Day 2
    • 25.01.2010
    • Informa?º?úo ?á Imprensa
    Weather conditions: Rain in the morning, partly cloudy in the afternoon.
    Temperature: Air: 13 – 19 ??C, Track: 11 – 15 ??C
    Number of riders participating: 20 from 11 teams
    Fastest lap overall: Jonathan Rea (HANNspree Ten Kate Honda) 1:49.107 min
    Circuit length: 4.658 km


    Programme:
    Rain in the morning only allowed a limited testing programme in the first free practice session today. Although the track was almost dry at the end of the afternoon session, for today Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport focussed on working on the rain set-up.


    Troy Corser:
    Bike: BMW S 1000 RR
    Test kilometres today: 135 (29 laps)
    Fastest lap free practice 1: 1:57.237 min / Fastest lap free practice 2: 1:49.606 min
    “Obviously with this morning’s conditions it was quite difficult to really test anything. We tried to get a feeling for the bike in the wet. We worked on improving the feeling for the rear grip and the position of the bike. After the end of the second session I can report the bike’s balance really improved. I am not too excited, but I am happy we are closer to the front runners than we were yesterday.”


    Ruben Xaus:
    Bike: BMW S 1000 RR
    Test kilometres today: 135 (29 laps)
    Fastest lap free practice 1: 2:04.764 min / Fastest lap free practice 2: 1:51.170 min
    “I have the feeling we understand the bike a lot better than yesterday. We have a couple of new components on the bike compared to last year, and yesterday there were still a lot of question marks. However, today we made some good progress.”


    What comes next:
    On Sunday, both Troy and Ruben will continue working on the basic set-up of the bike.

    BMW Motorrad Motorsport - Superbike World Championship - Test Portimao - Day 3
    • 25.01.2010
    • Informa?º?úo ?á Imprensa
    Weather conditions: Overcast in the morning, sunny in the afternoon.
    Temperature: Air: 15 – 20 ??C, Track: 12 – 22 ??C
    Number of riders participating: 20 from 11 teams
    Fastest lap overall: Jonathan Rea (HANNspree Ten Kate Honda) 1:42.270 min
    Circuit length: 4.658 km


    Programme:
    Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport today worked on the chassis set-up of Troy Corser’s (AUS) and Ruben Xaus’ (ESP) BMW S 1000 RR. Ruben crashed in the first session, but was able to return to the garage under his own steam and continued testing. Troy’s crew had no technical difficulties.

    Troy Corser:
    Bike: BMW S 1000 RR
    Test kilometres today: 302 (65 laps)
    Fastest lap free practice 1: 1:44.608 min / Fastest lap free practice 2: 1:43.931 min
    “We tried a lot of new stuff today on the chassis side and compared the different tyre compounds. The lap time on the race tyres was quite ok, but we did not quite achieve what we expected with the softer tyre. We gained a lot of valuable information which is good as there is still a lot of work to do.”

    Ruben Xaus:
    Bike: BMW S 1000 RR
    Test kilometres today: 247 (53 laps)
    Fastest lap free practice 1: 1:45.810 min / Fastest lap free practice 2: 1:44.925 min
    “Today was not a lucky day for me. In the morning I crashed and later I faced some technical issues we have to work on. However, the test was worth a lot. During the season, there will be a couple of days like that. We have to make the best out of it. I know what I can achieve, and the team is really motivated.”

    What comes next:
    Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport will head directly to Valencia. Both Troy and Ruben will test at Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo on Wednesday and Thursday.


    On the Street

    Triumph is the only brand that I have seen turn in a sales increase for 2009. The naked bike segment is the only segment to show growth in the UK and a couple of other markets for example. The Triumph lineup is strong with naked bikes. That may change.
    Triumphchepassione.com: A new Triumph Trophy coming soon?

    thevintagent.blogspot.com: 2010 Retromobile Paris

    asphaltandrubber.com: The 2010 Yamaha FZ28 leaked photos

    bikerholic.com: 2010 Harley-Davidson Forty Eight is a raw and radical ride

    ducatinewstoday.com: 47 years later Honda builds a Ducati Apollo

    Bike Cruller

    Today’s treat comes by way of 8negro.blogspot.com. I translated the builders comments for you.

    "I'm a lover of classical motorbikes BMW Boxer".
    I always wanted to have one, and thus I got it a few months ago, when I bought a BMW R 100 RS.

    To this passion for these bikes, you joined a concern ever more intense by the Cafe-racer, I discovered some five years ago, at the hands of a friend and his LeMans Guzzi.

    We have the ingredients. A good base, and a style that marks character if only.
    Just missing a little surf across the network, to view the wonders that she sail, a little inspiration from these beauties and to work.
    In three evenings, disappeared the bike altogether. All crumbled in large boxes, high girls... low much work ahead.

    The harder was the beginning. Something poor view that tapeworms a moto, and suddenly, there's nothing. To be the first time, you invades a bestial horror think if you will be able to return to life, that same quitaste you.

    So patiently, piece by piece, went cleaning, rising, repairing, searching, buying, welding, cutting, pasting, modifying and many more... .andos

    In the end, when mounts the box with wheels, you feel many forces to continue, and everything begins to sense.

    In a few weeks, was already back in my garage, but with a slightly changed image.
    Reported an experience and feelings are unique. Becomes yours. Part of your life.
    Feel it ROAR into the past, make you feel alive.

    And only I have to thank all those who have given me encouragement to the www.bmwmotos.com in its paragraph of "Clasicas", who helped me, my wife, Forum and especially ask pardon my children by stealing some... well, many hours with them. It has been an intense, and with a result to my eyes, project wonderful. "Exciting every step of the way, I would say".

    Jaime Zarzuela.









    Last edited by Mika; 01-26-2010 at 04:51 AM.
    Pass the mustard and UP THE REVOLUTION!

    St. Paul Pioneer Press , Minneapolis Star Tribune

  7. #97
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    Tuesday, January 26

    World Superbike/MotoGP/AMA Calendar

    WSBK et al.

    worldsbk.com: Paolo Flammini positive about the season ahead.

    worldsbk.com: Yamaha pairing well placed after official tests

    cdnsuperbike.com: Szoke chosen as Inside Track Motorcycle Racer of the Year

    AMA Pro Racing

    roadracingworld.com: AMA President Rob Dingman interview Part 2: Answering the question, why did the AMA screw over AHRMA?

    Formula 1 and 

    usgpe.com: USF1 Team announces Jose Maria Lopez as driver for 2010 season
    US F1 Team announced they have signed the former Renault F1 Team test driver to race with them in the 2010. Now they just need to build him a car.

    formula1.com: Q&A with McLarenÔÇÖs Martin Whitmarsh

    scuderiatororosso.com: Reserve drivers announced.


    On the Street

    FWIW:

    Comments by the video's producer: This video shows my own techniques for riding my BMW K1100 LT Motorcycle on ice and snow. They've kept me safe all these years.

    I don't use any special tyres, just normal road tyres, however I do lower the tyre pressure. I normally run with around 40psi, but I drop it down to around 33psi for these conditions.

    I'm a Medical Despatch Rider so I don't have the option of taking a car to work. And if I don't ride, I don't get paid.

    If you decide to use any of the advice in the video or this description, you do so at your own risk! Just take it slow and smooth and you'll be ok.

    Have fun and stay safe!

    http://www.madstu.net/



    CyrilHuzeBlog sent me on a trip down memory lane. I have fond memories of a desk top steam engine I had when I was a sprout. My dad and uncle went together and bought it form me as a birthday present. I am certain they used my birthday as an excuse to buy a toy for them to play with themselves. We built a number of Rube Goldberg contraptions for it to run. I wish this had been around when I was a kid. From Hammacher Sclemmer:



    Their catalog describes it as
    This is the fully operational, internal combustion V-twin engine that is optimally balanced for minimum vibration and smooth operation up to 1,500 rpm. Made by a German engineering company, it is built using two aluminum 1 1/2 cc cylinders and stainless steel exhaust pipes. After filling its reservoir with butane (commonly available at drug stores), the engine is started by turning its solid brass flywheel. Its piezo magneto attaches to a timing disc that is precisely calibrated to send an electrical impulse to the two spark plugs that ignite the fuel within each cylinder. The individual movements of the valve rods, crosshead, and crankshaf**** are clearly visible at lower revolutions, and its efficient puttering equals the noise output of a kitchen blender. Its non-toxic exhaust allows you to operate the engine in a ventilated room. It operates up to 10 minutes from a full tank.
    7" L x 5" W x 9" H. (5 1/2 lbs.)
    The list price is $1000.00 CA.

    BMW PressClub France Translation by Bing ÔÇô sometimes computerspeek makes you giggle

    In France, BMW Motorrad has better resisted the market and BMW sees its positions improve in 2009.
    26.01.2010
    Press release

    2009: Year of transition for BMW Motorrad. On a 500 cc motorcycle market and + BMW Motorrad Group ends at-10,1 %, while BMW Motorrad France decreased 7 % with 7462 units (against 8019 units in 2008) and sees again its market share continue to 8.2 % at end 2009 from 8 % in late 2008 (7.7 % has end 2007). BMW France is the 3rd market for BMW motorcycle in the world.

    Making it the worlds best selling commercial jetliner the ever (R1200 (standard and Adventure), GS R1200 RT and R1200 R) are known to take a long life cycle and to evolve by successive improvements allowing to create customer loyalty and keep a good resale value. In 2009, BMW sold 10 6 were R series boxers (7 out of 10 in 2008). 2 are series F, bicylindres and the other 2 are K, 4-cylinder series.

    Full carton for what's new in 2009, each model K 1300 GT, 1300 R, K 1300 S & F 800 R K has exceeded widely its objective. Please note that resale of opportunity for excellent 1200 GT, K 1200 R, K 1200 S K allowed also many new customers join brand.
    With regard to sales, BMW Motorrad France placed on a stable crisis release year. Given what's new in 2010, BMW Motorrad France, supported by its network should beat a new record year for BMW in France and strive for 9 % market share of 500 cc and +.
    Sport side, 2010 will be a year under the sign of renewal and dynamism, "Welcome to planet power", this will be the first full S 1000 RR marketing year. On the ground with the Michelin and network partnership, the BMW S 1000 RR alignera in the world endurance EWC, with talented French drivers (S?®bastien Gimbert, Matthieu Lagrive, Erwan Nigon) but also in FSBK

    xkcd.com

    motobastards.com


    Bike Cruller

    Pass the mustard and UP THE REVOLUTION!

    St. Paul Pioneer Press , Minneapolis Star Tribune

  8. #98
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    Ouch! Hope Xaus didn't get hurt with that get off. That makes me cringe. He's past his quota of crashes.

    Corser has had a reputation for keeping the rubber side down. I agree they have some development work to do so he can push the edge 'safely'.

  9. #99
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    The pictures are very dramatic but, thankfully, Xaus was not seriously injured.
    Pass the mustard and UP THE REVOLUTION!

    St. Paul Pioneer Press , Minneapolis Star Tribune

  10. #100
    Still Wondering mika's Avatar
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    Wednesday, January 27

    World Superbike/MotoGP/AMA Calendar

    WSBK et al.

    worldsbk.com: Aprilia testing at Valencia hit by bad weather

    YouTube: World Superbike Emotional Video ÔÇô Misano 2009


    ultimatemotorcyclin.com: 2010 Mille Superbike Ultimate Experience

    MotoGP

    Provisional Entry Lists:
    MotoGP
    Moto2
    125cc GP

    AMA Pro Racing

    roadracingworld.com: AMA President Rod Dingman interview Part 3: Answering the question, Where does the AMA go from here?

    asphaltandrubber.com: John Hopkins to race in AMA for 2010

    Formula 1 and 

    formula1.com: Q&A with Mercedes Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg

    formula1.com: Brawn, Fran and Haug on Mercedes bight future

    On the Street

    Bikes in the Fast Lane: 3D motorcycle puzzles

    motorcycledaily.com: Honda global motorcycle sales hold steady as North American sales plummet.
    The Motorcycle Daily article is good. The numbers come directly from Honda. JAMA has yet to release its December report. Apparently there is a shortage of red ink needed to print the sales decline figures. But seriously; combine their analysis in paragraph three with what you are reading about consumer credit problems and you will understand my belief that the recovery in the motorcycle segment in NA will be a long time coming.



    motorevue.com: Official premier photos of the Yamaha FZ8

    The French magazine site has photos and pricing estimates for YamahaÔÇÖs new naked bike. Announced at Ôé¼ 7 999 introductory price, the new Yamaha Roadster costs 9 Ôé¼ more than TriumphÔÇÖs segment leading Street Triple and 500 Ôé¼ more than a Z750. No information on US availability or pricing. Motocilismo.it has more information on what riders will be getting with all those Ôé¼.

    sportrider.com: 2010 Kawasaki Concours 14, give them what they want!

    Recall:
    Vehicle Make / Model: Model Year(s):
    KAWASAKI / KL250G9F 2009
    Manufacturer: KAWASAKI MOTORS CORP., U.S.A. Mfr's Report Date: JAN 11, 2010
    NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 10V016000 NHTSA Action Number: N/A


    Component: ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING
    Potential Number of Units Affected:

    Summary:
    KAWASAKI IS RECALLING MODEL YEAR 2009 SUPER SHERPA KL250G9F MOTORCYCLES. ON ELIGIBLE UNITS, BLOCKAGE OF AN OIL PASSAGE IN THE ENGINE MIGHT RESTRICT OIL FLOW TO THE CYLINDER HEAD.

    Consequence:
    THIS COULD RESULT IN THE ENGINE LOSING POWER AND EVENTUALLY STOPPING WHICH COULD CREATE THE RISK OF A CRASH WHILE OPERATING THE VEHICLE RESULTING IN INJURY OR DEATH.

    Remedy:
    DEALERS WILL INSPECT THE OIL SYSTEM AND REPAIR THE CYLINDER HEAD FREE OF CHARGE. THE RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN ON OR BEFORE JANUARY 25, 2010. OWNERS MAY CONTACT KAWASAKI CONSUMER SERVICES DEPARTMENT AT 866-802-9381.

    Notes:
    OWNERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV .


    No report on US or Canadian availability yet for the following parts mentioned in this press release. The release has shown up on most of the European PressClub sites. From

    BMW PressClub Portugal

    Exclusivity and high performance. Supersports parts program for the BMW S 1000 RR.


    ÔÇó 27.01.2010
    ÔÇó Informa?º?úo ?á Imprensa

    Munich. When BMW Motorrad presented the new S 1000 RR in the last year, many fans of extremely dynamic motorcycles saw it as a dream come true. The sportiest and most powerful BMW of all times is consistently geared to the needs of ambitious riders and fascinating even in its serial production trim with numerous exclusive features previously only used for racing purposes.
    Now BMW Motorrad is bringing out a series of HP parts which will further enhance the exclusive character and performance of the new S 1000 RR.

    HP carbon add-on parts.
    With a wide selection of HP carbon add-on parts, BMW Motorrad now offers the option to visually enhance the S 1000 RR according to personal preferences:

    - HP carbon wheel cover, front
    - HP carbon wheel cover, rear
    - HP carbon badge carrier
    - HP carbon fuel tank trim panel
    - HP carbon tail-hump cover
    - HP carbon chain guard
    - HP carbon heel guard
    - HP carbon engine spoiler

    The HP carbon add-on parts made of especially impact-resistant HP carbon replace the relevant standard parts and have a UV-resistant 3-layer high-gloss paint finish which not only provides outstanding brilliance and depth but also protects from yellowing.

    Since the serial production trim components of the S 1000 RR are already perfectly optimised in terms of function and weight reduction, the focus in developing the HP carbon add-on parts was not on weight reduction but primarily on visual and qualitative considerations.

    In terms of design, a deliberate decision was made not to apply the HP label to all HP carbon add-on parts as standard. An HP label is optionally available for most HP carbon add-on parts (except for the HP carbon heel protector and chainguard). This means that customers can decide for themselves how they wish the HP carbon add-on parts to look.

    The black plastic label (22 x 9 mm) featuring the HP emblem in silver metallic can be stuck onto the HP carbon add-on parts by the dealer or customer. On the service data DVD RSK (Repair & Service Data BMW Motorrad) there is an overview which indicates which label position BMW Motorrad recommends for each HP carbon add-on part.

    Foldable HP brake lever and HP clutch lever.

    As a high-quality alternative to the serial production handlebar levers in terms of functionality, material and design, the range of HP fittings offers levers for the brake and clutch with additional functions.

    The HP handlebar levers can be folded upwards, which much reduces the risk of bending or braking in the event of a fall. What is more, the distance between the handlebar grip and the handle can be adapted to individual ergonomic needs with a number of adjustment levels.

    The especially high-quality finish of the HP handlebar levers also provides the S 1000 RR with a visual enhancement in this area.

    HP footrest system.

    The HP rider footrest system is CNC-milled in highly rigid aluminium alloy, anodised in titanium, red and colourless and provides a wide range of adjustment options for specific adaptation to the rider's individual ergonomic needs. Height and length adjustment permit a more precise upward/downward and front/rear setting as compared to the serial production footrest. A scale on the footrest system facilitates a preferably symmetrical positioning of the shift and brake lever side.

    The pedal component of the brake lever side is longitudinally adjustable to three positions, while the position of the shift lever remains constant in relation to the footrest. This means when the footrest is adjusted, the shift lever is automatically altered along with it. The various adjustment positions of the pedal component enable riders to individually adapt the gap between the pedal component and the shift lever to their personal boot size for optimum shifting.

    On the brake lever side, the pedal component is also longitudinally adjustable to three positions. However unlike the shift lever, the brake lever does not change its position with the footrest. Here the longitudinal adjustment primarily serves to adapt the position of the brake lever in relation to the footrest.

    The HP footrest system is around 20 mm narrower and provides greater banking clearance. What is more, the knurling of the footrests - which are not foldable, unlike those in the serial production system - provide further enhanced sure-footedness, especially on wet surfaces.

    The high-quality carbon heel protector was specially developed for the HP footrest system and is smaller than the HP carbon heel protector available as an accessory for the serial production footrest system. The latter cannot be combined with the HP rider footrest system.

    HP lap timer.

    For race track use, the serial production instrument panel of the S 1000 RR itself allows data such as maximum and minimum speed, lap times etc. to be recorded over more than 50 laps. However, here the rider has to confirm each lap start manually by pressing the headlamp flasher.

    The HP lap timer consists of an infrared receiver on the motorcycle and an infrared transmitter on the track and allows automatic lap recording with no manual confirmation required. In this way individual laps are precisely defined, while at the same time providing increased comfort and safety for the rider.

    What is more, one infrared transmitter by the track can be used simultaneously by several riders (each with their own infrared receiver). It is recommended that only one infrared transmitter should be used on the race track, otherwise incorrect lap times may possibly be recorded. The range of the transmitter is 20 metres.

    The 12-volt current supply for the infrared transmitter is provided by a conventional 12-volt battery as used in motorcycles or automobiles. Alternatively, a conventional 12-volt mains adaptor available from an electronics store can also be used. A connection cable with a plug for cigarette lighter or motorcycle socket is included. An adaptor cable is required for connection to an external battery.
    The infrared receiver is housed in a weatherproof casing and is connected to the connector of the accessory wiring harness. The connector is easily accessible so the infrared receiver can be removed conveniently at any time for anti-theft protection.

    In addition to the S 1000 RR with standard instrument panel, the following BMW motorcycles can also be retrofitted with the HP lap timer in conjunction with HP instrument panel:

    sportrider.com: Riding Skills Series ÔÇô On the Gas

    visordown.com: Metzeler announces new five-zone motorcycle tire

    xkcd.com

    motobastards.com


    Bike Cruller

    Via: Enthusiasticus

    Pass the mustard and UP THE REVOLUTION!

    St. Paul Pioneer Press , Minneapolis Star Tribune

  11. #101
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    Thursday, January 28

    World Superbike

    worldsuperbike.com: New look BMW squad moves forward in Portuguese testing

    MotoGP

    Spies talks about MotoGP aims

    Formula 1

    Fromula1.com: Ferrari takes the wraps of its new car and FerrariÔÇÖs Marmorini and Tombazis on the F10ÔÇÖs design

    On the Street

    Bikes in the Fast Lane: Your posture on a motorcycle explained.

    hellforleathermagazine.com: Honda UK bans VFR800 owners from testing Shamu
    IÔÇÖm scratching my head not so much at the ban, which is a bit odd in itself, but because I wonder why a VFR800 owner would want to test it.

    Bike Cruller

    I have been reading about girder suspension lately. Vincent continued to develop it after others had switched to the now normal telescopic forks so familiar.

    via: Vintagebike.co.uk

    Pass the mustard and UP THE REVOLUTION!

    St. Paul Pioneer Press , Minneapolis Star Tribune

  12. #102
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    Friday, January 29

    I have a change of pace for you today. Think of this post as a combination internet ride report and bike review.

    I look at many motorcycle pictures as part of the process of picking the daily ÔÇÿBike CrullerÔÇÖ. Much of the time there is little or no information included with the pictures. When I am able, I track down links or as much information as possible to include with the picture. I call this purposefully wondering about the internet. I wonder then go and search.

    The path the search takes is rarely linear. Rather normally there are all sorts of detours along the way as each leg of the ride opens up a new question to wonder and search about. For every link included in todayÔÇÖs post there were literally dozens of other paths taken in the process.

    TodayÔÇÖs post started with two pictures and two names found on an Italian website. I fired up my search engine and went for a ride that took me back and forth in time while crossing four continents. In addition to travel there is food and motorcycles so I hope you enjoy it.


    Bike Cruller


    The night of July 3rd 2009 I tucked myself in bed and went to sleep with thoughts of the next dayÔÇÖs plans dancing in my head; a long ride a family BBQ and fireworks to end the day. South of the equator and half way round the world in Australia it was already the 4th of July. There riders were already playing out their version of my dreams but for different reasons.

    On mid-winters day, they may have left Sydney headed north on the coast highway until they reached Highway 78 near Coffs Harbour then turned inland. The 200km stretch of road from Coffs Harbour to Armidale is known as the Waterfall Way and considered a classic touring ride. The road rises from the coast through the lush rainforest of AustraliaÔÇÖs Great Divide to the tablelands winding though wilderness deep gorges and picturesque countryside in the process and finishes in Armidales. Along the way there are plenty of places to take breaks to hike trails in the national park the road skirts or take pictures of waterfalls with great names like DorrigoÔÇÖs Dangar, Ebor, Wollomombi and Apsley. The road itself sounds like a great destination but on this Australian 4th of July it is the route to the real destination; JuanÔÇÖs Caf?® del Fuego in the town of Dorrigo.



    Juan, I have yet to find his last name, is an Argentinean expatriate living in Australia who has built the caf?® that is every bikers dream lunch stop on a sporting ride. The regular menu looks perfect and combines a number of simple dinner traditions with an Argentinean flair.

    Start with Anti-Pasto


    or Argentinean Pastries


    For an entr?®e perhaps Fish and Chips a Steak Sandwich or Argentinean Sausages







    They even have a Works Burger for Yanks longing for home.



    To top all this off, or if all you want are pastries and coffee drinks Juan has you covered.



    The more jaded reader may want to write Caf?® del Fuego off as just another Australia-Argentinean fusion caf?® on the perfect sporting road vying for the motorcyclists dining dollar. If you are among them you are wrong my friend. What makes this caf?® for me is not just what meets the palate but what meets the eye.

    Australians have the capacity for bragging bravado that will match any Texan I have ever met while having ability to pull it off with a certain subtlety that eludes AmericanÔÇÖs in general at times. JuanÔÇÖs Caf?® del Fuego is more than a roadside caf?® on the perfect sporting road; it is also ÔÇÿThe WorldÔÇÖs Smallest Motorcycle MuseumÔÇÖ. Set aside any attempt to prove or disprove this claim the diner at this caf?® is seated in the midst of this museum.



    From the time you walk in the door you are surrounded by bits and pieces of motorcycle design and engineering. A fully restored 1942 WLA motorcycle and sidecar greet you just inside the front door. The permanent Museum collection also shows the Evans USA 1919 ÔÇô 1924, Evans Power-Cycle 119cc two stroke made by CycleMotor Corporation who made the belt driven CycleMotor Bicycle.

    It is understandable if you miss your mouth with a fork full of food as you eat. The walls are decorated with over one hundred motorcycling posters pictures and memorabilia. Please no replies about the Ch?® poster. Remember this caf?® motorcycle museum is run by an Argentinean expatriate in a country that began as a British penal colony. The latter is something to keep in mind later in this post.

    If the museum display were static this would be just another theme caf?® with a motorcyclist bent. There is a permanent component to the museum the rest of the display changes every 3 months featuring a string of rare and immaculately restored motorcycles. Enthusiasts and motorcycle restoration clubs from around the region supply these bikes to the delight of every onlooker.

    Independence Day, July 4th 2009, provided an excuse for a ride and eating good BBQ for many of us. For my imaginary Australian riders it was time for a mid winter ride to JuanÔÇÖs Caf?® del Fuego for a special meal and the unveiling of a new motorcycle as part of the changing museum display.

    First the food:

    For this special day Juan was offering a feast that is definitely not part of the approved Mayo Clinic Diet. Instead of the normal menu riders would be treated to a combination of a three course Patagonian feast and an Aussie Tucker. I was not able to find a copy of the dayÔÇÖs menu but using the hints given it would have been a belt buster meal.

    My experience with Patagonian type feast was a memorable. We dined in the open air next to roasting pits where huge chunks of beef lamb and fowl were roasted on spits after having been seasoned with special spice and sauce mixtures. I vaguely remember vegetables being served but could not tell you what. All I remember is devouring plate after plate of incredible meat.

    ÔÇÿAussie TuckerÔÇÖ had me stumped and sent me back to my search engine to find out what this is. Quickly I learned you will not find real Aussie Tucker meals on an Outback Steak House menu. That is jus American food with Aussie names attached. An Aussie Tucker is immigrant food with recipes that go back to the nations English, Irish and Scottish roots prepared with a flair that came with what was available to them on the Australian continent. The recipes call for real butter whole cream lard and all those things that take you back to good old fashion cooking. Without a copy of the dayÔÇÖs menu I will let you do your own Aussie Tucker search.

    What I do know is that at noon the meal was not served on that Australian July 4th. At noon the bike was unveiled by its builder and added to the collection of the ÔÇÿWorlds Smallest Motorcycle MuseumÔÇÖ.

    The Builder and Bike:

    Mark Walker and Big Ned were the two names I set off on my internet adventure with. The first is the motorcycleÔÇÖs builder and the second is the name is the name he gave his creation.



    While I was able to find all sorts of information on various details of this story when it came to Mark Walker the information was scarce. However; there was enough information to start a good internet legend.



    Mark Walker is described by one writer as a self taught engineering boffin who has been building motorcycles all his life. Another writer explains he is dyslexic and canÔÇÖt read or write. He describes himself as having a very limited formal education. The key point in that education happened at age 15 when some how he was introduced to the lathe. "I didn't know what a lathe was when I first saw one at 15, but I said to my mother that I HAD to have one." He does not tell us who or under what circumstances he learned about the lathe but it is clear that he found his tool and has spent a lifetime since working for others and exploring ideas of his own using this tool. The designs and schematics for his creations are said to come straight from his head. They are worked out in metal on his lathe.

    Much of his involvement with motorcycles appears to be in AustraliaÔÇÖs version of drag racing. Disabuse yourself of visions of straight paved tracks and stretched out low slung bikes that spring to mind. Based on what I have seen on YouTube videos I have posted elsewhere these are straight line dirt track venues. The bikes often are often three wheeled machines that resemble mechanized chariots than what we think of. In Walkers case a nitro burning Harley-Davidson powered machine purpose built for the sport and capable of low etÔÇÖs. The valve train of the bike strongly hints at two stroke experience also.

    The sparse biographical information will be combined with what we will learn from him about the influences on Big NedÔÇÖs creation and inferences observers will make based on the elements within the bike itself.

    continued:
    Pass the mustard and UP THE REVOLUTION!

    St. Paul Pioneer Press , Minneapolis Star Tribune

  13. #103
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    Big Ned



    Big Ned is named in honor Edward “Ned” Kelly

    Bodywork

    The source of the pictures for this piece felt they would tell the story better than he could. His only comment about the bodywork was Walker credits artist Sidney Nolan for the inspiration for the name and body work on the bike. The Australian artist is famous for a series of paintings based on the bushranging ironoutlaw Edward “Ned” Kelly. I spent some time looking at the artwork. I started to see glimpses yet really did not understand how they were an inspiration for the motorcycle, but then I am not an Australian.

    The fun thing about an ‘internet ride’ is the ability to travel around the world and through time to find answers to things that make you wonder. I climbed back on my trusty search engine and headed out for a ride that would take me back over a century to Ireland, Tasmania then back to Australia before I would once again meet up in the woods with Mark Walker making the bodywork for his bike. I will leave you to do your own searches on this fascinating historical character and briefly focus on the part of the story that has to do with the motorcycle.

    What separates Kelly and his gang from the rest of the bushrangers of his day making hem a legend in the process is their adaptive use of technology. More than a century before two California bank robbers donned body armor and shot their way into the news and made for television drama legend Kelly and his gang did the same. The gang members were equipped themselves with armor that was tough enough to repel bullets. Each man's armor weighed about 96 pounds. All wore grey cotton coats reaching past the knees over the armor.

    It is not known exactly who made the armor, although it was likely forged from stolen or donated plough mouldboards. According to legend the armor was made on a Stringybark log by the gang themselves. The mouldboards were heated in a makeshift bush forge and then beaten straight over a green log before being cut into shape and riveted together to form each individual piece.



    With the information from my ride through the arts and history in hand the paintings inspiration and the inclusion of the following picture made sense.




    Walker, like Ned Kelly and his gang, took the metal for his bikes bodywork to the woods. There he fashioned it using a bush forge and a green log.

    The caf?® fairing is styled to resemble the helmet. The breast plate covers the backbone frame. The armor’s protective apron becomes the seat. Finally the coverings on the spokes of the wheels made sense as the motorcycle’s representation of the leggings Kelly wore.

    If this were press release or a road test we would be at the point in the article where the author would get into the technical details of the bike. Sorry, there aren’t a lot of technical details. Remember the builder doesn’t write and the internet sources for the pictures that follow thought they were Rod Stewart – every picture tells a story, don’t it.





    Pass the mustard and UP THE REVOLUTION!

    St. Paul Pioneer Press , Minneapolis Star Tribune

  14. #104
    Still Wondering mika's Avatar
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    Big Ned Data Panel

    DATA PANEL

    Engine: 3000cc V-twin (yes that is a three with three zeros then the cc)
    Valves: Rotary Valves ÔÇô Chain Driven
    Ignition: Dual Pug Ignition
    Fuel System: Fuel Injection
    Fuel: Nitro
    Frame: Backbone Frame
    The frame also carries the fuel for the bike.
    Suspension: Rigid Front and Rear Suspension
    Bakes: Drop the ÔÇÿsÔÇÖ. There is one front ventilated drum brake.
    Clutch: Multi-plate dry clutch
    Transmission: Transmission? Transmission! We donÔÇÖt need no stinking transion.
    Final Drive: Dual Chains








    The connecting rods are like a body builderÔÇÖs arms with pistons the size of coffee cans at the ends.





    They are then topped off with rotary valve heads.

    The rotary valve system is a fascinating concept. I did not come across any information as to why he chose to use them. It may be a design experiment or simple way to avoid some of the complexities of the traditional valved head.









    The heads feature rear facing exhaust and forward facing injector bodies.





    Once the fuel air mixture is sucked into the motor by those coffee can pistons it is fired by a duel plug ignition system.



    The power generated is delivered through a multi-plate clutch to a bevel gear that drives twin chains used to turn the rear wheel.





    When Walker designed the brake system it is obvious he did not take NewtonÔÇÖs third law of motion into account. The Australian builder may be counting on having a continent to cost to a stop on because he only put a single ventilated drum brake on the front end of this monster to bring it to a halt.







    Fortunately it was strong enough to bring Big Ned to a halt at JuanÔÇÖs Caf?® del Fuego so it could be displayed in the WorldÔÇÖs Smallest Motorcycle Museum.

    Pass the mustard and UP THE REVOLUTION!

    St. Paul Pioneer Press , Minneapolis Star Tribune

  15. #105
    Still Wondering mika's Avatar
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    Saturday, January 30

    On the Street

    Friday BMW released an early review of BMW Group earnings for 2009. Despite the current world economic conditions a before tax profit is anticipated. Both auto and motorcycles revenues were down while the financial services segment showed a small increase for the year. Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, credits Strategy Number ONE for the GroupÔÇÖs ability to reach a profit under these conditions.

    The Motorcycle segment reportedly performed better than the world market as a whole. 87,306 units were produced in 2009; down 14.1% from the 101,685 produced in 2008. More importantly, from an investor perspective, Motorcycle revenues came in at Ôé¼ 1,069 million down 13.1% from 2008ÔÇÖs Ôé¼ 1,230 million. On a percentage basis this is encouraging. What that means in actual euros to the bottom line remains to be seen. The encouraging thing is the company has been able to adjust its plans and costs in response to the market and maintain the Motorcycle segment as a viable unit.

    BMW PressClub Global

    BMW Group: Positive group earnings in sight for 2009
    ÔÇó 29.01.2010
    ÔÇó Press Release
    Group revenues down moderately in past year
    Remains worldÔÇÖs leading premium automobile company
    Reithofer: sales volume growth expected again in 2010

    Munich . Despite the ongoing worldwide financial and economic crisis, the BMW Group has, from todayÔÇÖs perspective, achieved the objectives for 2009 made known over the course of the past year. ÔÇ£We are confident that the BMW Group will, as planned, be able to post a profit before tax for 2009. This demonstrates that rigorous cost management and other wide-ranging measures to improve profitability in conjunction with our Strategy Number ONE are taking effectÔÇ£, stated Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, on Friday in Munich.
    Despite unfavourable business conditions worldwide, the decrease in group revenues in 2009 was comparatively moderate, dropping to euro 50,681 million (2008: euro 53,197million /-4.7%). Revenues of the Automobiles segment fell to euro 43,737 million (2008: euro 48,782 million /-10.3%). The Motorcycles segment reported revenues of euro 1,069 million (2008: euro 1,230 million /-13.1%), whilst the Financial Services segment increased its revenues by 0.5% to euro 15,798 million (2008: euro 15,725 million).
    The Annual Report 2009 will be presented at the Annual Accounts Press Conference on 17 March 2010. In total, the BMW Group sold 1,286,310 BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brand vehicles in 2009 (2008: 1,435,876 units /-10.4%). This performance enabled the BMW Group to increase its worldwide share of the premium segment and, as previously announced, to retain its position as the worldÔÇÖs leading premium auto manufacturer.

    Sales volume forecast to increase in single digit percentage range in 2010
    The worldwide financial and economic crisis will continue to have an impact on the automobile industry during the current year. The BMW Group will, however, grow profitably due to new models and the expected gradual global economic recovery in 2010. ÔÇ£The BMW Group can start the new year with a certain amount of optimism. New models will provide tailwind over the course of the year. We fully intend to remain the worldÔÇÖs leading provider of premium vehicles in 2010 and plan to increase sales within the single digit percentage range to over 1.3 million unitsÔÇ£, added Reithofer.
    One of the most important model developments in 2010 is the new BMW 5 Series which will come onto the market at the end of March, providing further momentum from the beginning of the second quarter. The new BMW X1 and BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo models ÔÇô both of which were very successfully launched at the end of 2009 ÔÇô will similarly have a positive impact on the sales volume performance in 2010. The MINI Countryman will also be introduced onto the markets during the current year.

    BMW Group forecasts growth in China and the USA in 2010
    A total of 1,068,770 BMW brand cars (2008: 1,202,239 units /-11.1%) was sold in 2009, putting the BMW brand once again well ahead of relevant competitors in the premium segment.
    Good volume increases were achieved by the BMW 7 Series (52,680 units / +35.7%), the BMW X6 (41,667 units / +56.8%) and the BMW Z4 (22,761 units / +26.4%). In Germany, both 7 Series (7,439 units /+74.8%) on the one hand and the BMW X5 (10,933 units /-31.9%) and X6 (4,940 units /+51.0%) on the other, finished the year as clear leaders in the relevant segments. During the period from their launch at the end of October 2009 up to the end of the year, 8,499 units of the BMW X1 and 3,052 units of the 5 Series Gran Turismo had been sold worldwide.
    The MINI brand recorded a worldwide sales volume of 216,538 units in 2009 (2008: 232,425 units /-6.8%). Rolls-Royce sold 1,002 motor cars (2008: 1,212 units /-17.3%) during the year, thus remaining the clear market leader in the ultra-luxury segment. The new Rolls-Royce Ghost made a good start, with 150 vehicles handed over to customers in December 2009.
    BMW Motorcycles performed better than the market as a whole in 2009, registering a comparatively moderate sales volume decrease with a worldwide sales volume of 87,306 units (2008: 101,685 units /-14.1%).
    The BMW Group grew strongly in 2009 in the emerging markets of China (90,536 units /+37.5%), Brazil (6,398 units /+118.8%) and India (3,619 units/ +24.4%), achieving new sales volume records in all three markets. "We plan to achieve sales volume growth again in China, Brazil and India in the current year ÔÇ£, stated Reithofer. Germany was the largest single market for the BMW Group in 2009 for BMW and MINI brand cars, with a total of 258,012 units (2008: 284,786 units /-9.4%) sold. With 33,517 cars handed over to customers, the MINI brand recorded its most successful year in Germany to date. The BMW Group is also aiming for sales volume growth in the German market in 2010, and hence, increased market share in the premium segment.
    The BMW Group sold 241,727 vehicles (2008: 303,190 units /-20.3%) in the USA during the past year. The BMW brand, with 196,502 units sold, remained the best performing European premium car brand in the USA. The BMW Group forecasts that it will return to sales volume growth on the US market during the current year.

    Financial services business also affected by flat economy
    The weak state of the global economy also cast its shadow over financial services business in 2009, with the volume of new retail customer contracts dropping by 15.8% to euro 24,709 million. The proportion of new BMW and MINI brand cars financed by the Financial Services segment amounted to 49.0%, up by 0.5 percentage points compared to the previous year. This increase was largely attributable to the higher volume of credit financing (up by 3.7 percentage points to 24.7%), while the proportion relating to lease financing decreased by 3.3 percentage points to 24.3%.

    Workforce of approximately 96,000 employees at end of 2009
    The BMW GroupÔÇÖs workforce decreased over the past year as a result of a combination of natural attrition, pre-retirement and part-time working arrangements as well as voluntary contract termination agreements. The BMW Group workforce comprised 96,230 employees at the end of the year (December 31, 2008: 100,041 employees /-3.8%) worldwide. The number of trainees remained at a high level, namely 3,915 compared to 4,102 one year earlier.

    * * *

    The BMW Group ÔÇô an Overview

    2009
    2008
    Change
    in %
    Vehicle production



    Automobiles units
    1,258,417
    1,439,918
    -12.6
    Motorcycles units
    82,631
    104,220
    -20.7




    Deliveries to customers



    Automobiles units
    1,286,310
    1,435,876
    -10.4
    Motorcycles units
    87,306
    101,685
    -14.1




    Workforce at year-end
    96,230
    100,041
    -3.8




    Revenues euro million
    50,681
    53,197
    -4.7
    thereof:
    Automobiles euro million
    43,737
    48,782
    -10.3
    Motorcycles euro million
    1,069
    1,230
    -13.1
    Financial Services euro million
    15,798
    15,725
    0.5
    Other Entities euro million
    3
    191
    -98.4
    Reconciliations euro million
    -9,926
    -12,731
    -22.0
    Pass the mustard and UP THE REVOLUTION!

    St. Paul Pioneer Press , Minneapolis Star Tribune

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